10 Questions you should ask a potential talent agent.
- Who will represent my child from your agency?
This is important to know, particularly if it’s a larger agency. You want to know who will represent your child because you will work directly with this person. Are they assigned to your child because they handle a particular division (ie: print, children, film, commercial, etc)?
- How many clients do you currently represent?
Depending on how you look at it, this information can give you some insight into the agent’s ability to focus on your child. You want someone who has had more than 2 or 3 clients, and has a proven track record; but you don’t want an agent who is so bogged down with clients that you have to constantly remind them of who you are, or fight to remain on the agency’s roster at the end of the year.
- What kind of actor/talent do you see my child as?
How many other actors do you represent that are similar to my child?
This question allows you to see your child’s “type” from the eyes of the talent manager or agent. However they view your child is how they will market them and influences what types of roles they will submit them for.
- How would you direct his career?
This is important to know the vision that the agent or manager has for your child. You also want to make sure you are on the same page in terms of directing your child’s career.
- What kind of work have you gotten recently for your actors?
Please believe, a prospective agent will have no problem asking you what you’ve done lately or what types of jobs you’ve booked, so its perfectly ok to ask them the same. You want to make sure they are working hard for their clients and getting the types of jobs that you’d like to book.
- What do you expect from my child? From me as a parent manager?
As a parent manager you are used to calling all the shots—submitting for bookings, maintaining websites, updating resumes and headshots, etc. This process may change once your child has an agent. It is important to know the expectations so that boundaries are in place and roles aren’t confused.
- How do you prefer your actors contact you?
This is a pretty self-explanatory question, but its important to know the communication preference of your agent. Know whether you should call or email with questions, what to do if there’s an issue during an audition or on set, etc.
- Do you operate under an exclusive or non-exclusive contract?
This is a VERY important question. An exclusive contract means you can only have one agency represent you and that agency gets the agreed commission for every booking, regardless of who booked the job. Non-exclusive allows the flexibility of working with other agencies (usually in a different market), and only receiving payment for bookings as a result of that particular agent or agency.
- What’s your process for auditions and bookings?
You want to know the process and where you fit in as the talent and/ or parent-manager. Do you still have to self-submit for roles on various casting websites? Does the agent receive all the casting notices and submit whoever they see fit for the role? Do they pitch their clients for certain roles?
- Which casting directors or industry professionals do you work closest with?
This allows you to gauge how well connected your agent is. While there’s nothing wrong with a hardworking, newly established agent; you want to make sure your agent is going to work hard on your behalf and has a good network or reputable industry insiders.
I think since we’ve discussed questions to ask, we should probably discuss questions you shouldn’t ask. Feel free to comment below.